After four successive wins and then two consecutive losses against South Africa and Australia respectively, Indian women’s team skipper Mithali Raj has hailed the team effort by terming her side as ‘new India’ after routing New Zealand women’s team by 186 runs on Saturday in Derby – to qualify for the all-important semi-final of the 50-over World Cup. (Read Here: I Have Always Been Happy To Score Runs For The Country, Says Mithali Raj).
The 34-year-old batswoman Raj added the win will bring a lot of positives to the table, as India is scheduled to play Australia on Thursday (July 20) at Derby.
“This is a very good win for the girls and it will give them a real boost and a lot of confidence,” Raj was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
India on Saturday has bounced back which saw White Ferns were bundled out on 79, as Rajeshwari Gayakward claimed a five-for after conceding just 15 runs in his 7.3 overs.
“I think this is a new India team. In the earlier editions, we’ve seen one bad day and then we’ve never made a comeback into the tournament,” Raj added.
After batting first Raj helped her side by registering her sixth One-day International hundred which further saw Women in Blue posted 265 for seven on board, for the loss of seven wickets in 50 overs.
India was in desperate need to claim a win, in order to stay afloat in the coveted event after an amazing start to the tournament. Raj further revealed she has talked about the length and the breadth of the game against New Zealand with her teammates while expressing her delight to trounce New Zealand.
“I’m very happy and thrilled because, until yesterday, most of the girls were very down because of the performance that we displayed in the last two games,” Raj maintained.
Moreover, Raj’s statement came when after scoring 109 off 123 deliveries, the side was equally supported by Harmanpreet Kaur (60 runs off 90 balls) and Veda Krishnamurthy (70 off 45), who posted the fifties respectively.
Raj has effusively praised the performance of India’s bowlers which further saw White Ferns struggling to score runs in the important clash after both the openers were sent back to the pavilion by fast bowling duo Shikha Pandey and Jhulan Goswami.
“It’s always important that if the fast bowlers give you those couple of early wickets,” Raj asserted.
Raj remarked Australia has a good bunch in terms of batting and bowling respectively, and her side would be aiming to give their best shot – to qualify for the final of the Women’s World Cup.
Interestingly, since July 2011, India lost seven games against Australia out of eight matches, but the side is pinning hopes on their senior campaigners – to stop the merry-run of Australia in the second semi-final of the World Cup.